housing market: Sell Now or Wait for a Real Housing Recovery? - 11/20/12 03:09 AM

Homeowners struggling to deal with the consequences of the sluggish recovery in home prices are wondering if they should sell now or wait for a real housing recovery; and the answers are as varied as the local markets. One of the keys to answering the question is motivation. Across the country motivated sellers have reentered the market and are finding conditions much better than they imagined.
While the collapse of the housing market and subsequent recession left millions of homeowners underwater, owing more on their home than it would bring on the market, the past year has seen significant … (75 comments)

housing market: Is the Housing Recovery Real or Imagined? - 02/27/12 06:49 AM
With many economists claiming that the real estate market is stabilizing, some are asking, “Is the housing recovery real or imagined?” While there is some data to support an affirmative reply, a careful analysis shows us that the U.S. housing market may still be on life support. I believe it’s still too early to call a recovery in housing, and suggest that we look at some facts.
Positive Indicators: 
* Homebuilding stocks are surging.
* New & existing home inventory has fallen to the lowest level in 6 years.
* The median price for a new home … (10 comments)

housing market: Home Sellers Should Forget the Headlines and Call a Local Real Estate Agent - 02/16/12 12:17 PM
Homeowners get it; the U.S. housing market is still far from “normal,” with new horror stories beig reported daily. Many wonder if they’ll be stuck in their homes forever. However, the reality is that the real estate statistics reported nationally are meaningless to the average homeowner. Yes, real estate is local, and has always been that way.    
Home sellers should forget the headlines and call a local real estate agent, the best one they can find. Local agents are the experts on local markets; they know what’s happening locally, the only statistics that truly matter to those wishing … (6 comments)

housing market: Real Estate Profits Are Made on the Purchase not the Sale - 01/05/12 05:26 AM
With large numbers of investors and others seeking to take advantage of low home prices, many remain unaware that real estate profits are made on the purchase not the sale. Sadly, millions of current homeowners and others who may have already lost homes to foreclosure overlooked the economic realities of their purchase.
In past years, especially those of the recent housing boom, profiting from a home purchase was the norm, and sometimes those profits were dramatic. However, most now realize that the gains received were artificially driven by a combination of loose lending policies and direct government interference in … (11 comments)

housing market: Negotiating Tips for Sellers - 12/24/11 08:17 AM
Okay, so the de-cluttering, staging and upgrades have paid off and you’ve received an offer to purchase your home. Is your “Mission Accomplished?” And what do you do next? If the offer you received is full price with few or no significant stipulations, proceed to “Go” and collect $200 and declare yourself a winner.  
The above scenario does happen . . . rarely, but it’s probably not what you’re currently facing. Your offer is probably below your asking price, perhaps well below. Is it possible to work out a price that will be acceptable to both you … (4 comments)

housing market: Selling a Home Is Much More Than Signing a Listing Agreement - 12/08/11 08:59 AM
As many homeowners have discovered, selling a home is much more than signing a listing agreement. In today’s housing market, sellers are competing with foreclosures, short sales and neighbors willing to forgo the profits common in past years. Those serious about selling understand the demands of the market and the expectations of buyers looking to capitalize on the best values in a decade.  
Recently my daughter found a building lot near her present home that was being offered for sale by a local bank. And as the selling price seemed very attractive, she and her husband decided that it … (10 comments)

housing market: Housing and Economic Predictions for 2012 and Beyond - 11/27/11 12:56 PM
As 2011 draws to a close, I look to past and current events to provide insights for my housing and economic predictions for 2012 and beyond; and what I see is both problematic and disheartening. Having experienced four years of instability in the housing market and with unemployment remaining at levels not seen since the Great Depression, many look to the coming year with expectations that the effects of this recession will finally lose their grip on the U.S. economy.
While it’s impossible in a few paragraphs to properly analyze the numerous issues affecting the economy, I will briefly … (14 comments)

housing market: Why Rent When You Can Own for Less? - 08/26/11 06:09 AM
I recently participated in a meeting of local real estate agents and mortgage brokers, and one of the topics discussed was: Why rent when you can own for less?  Why pay $1,000 per month in rent when the payments on a comparable home may be as low as $500-$600 per month?  Why indeed.
At first glance the issue seems straightforward.   If you purchase a home for $125,000—a price that’s easy to find in many areas—and put 10 % down, at current interest rates the monthly payment would be about $570.  In metro Atlanta, for instance, that home would easily … (14 comments)

housing market: The Changes in Housing Aren’t Just Revolutionary, They’re Evolutionary - 08/24/11 08:43 AM
There’s nothing typical about the current housing market, but the changes in housing aren’t just revolutionary, they’re evolutionary too.  And it’s not limited to housing; the broader economy is being transformed almost daily.  The stock market is volatile.  Home prices are falling.  Foreclosures continue.  Financial markets are struggling.  How will the real estate and construction industries survive?
The answer is simple, and has been evolving for several years.  In many ways the era of business as usual has ended.  Techniques and methods that worked five years ago may not cut it today.  We’re experiencing what might be called a … (29 comments)

housing market: July New Home Sales Fall to Five-Month Low - 08/23/11 03:19 AM
Sales of new homes in July fell to the lowest level in five months, surprising analysts who had predicted a slight increase.  Falling to an annual rate of 298,000, new home sales are remain up over 2010 with the inventory of new homes falling to a record low of 165,000. 
Click here for article on BLOOMBERG
The Housing Guru: The expert source for all your housing questions—now featuring daily updates of Today’s Housing News

housing market: Ben Bernanke Spoils the Urgency Argument for Home Sellers - 08/22/11 08:11 AM
Just when you think the housing market can’t get more difficult, Ben Bernanke spoils the urgency argument for home sellers. The Fed’s recent commitment to maintain historically low interest rates for the next two years has erased hope for many who were waiting for buyers to purchase due to concerns over the potential for rising rates. Additionally, concern over falling home prices has many buyers confident that playing the waiting game is to their advantage. And with conditions as they are, it’s hard to disagree. 
Overall, this is not good news for sellers—and not good news for the rest … (14 comments)

housing market: Will Renting Foreclosures Stabilize the Housing Market? - 08/15/11 06:15 AM
Will renting foreclosures stabilize the housing market?  I don’t think so—and here’s why:
 ●  Although the Administration is currently seeking input on its plan to offer government-owned foreclosures for sale in bulk to large investor groups, it seems unlikely that the plan will boost home prices as suggested.  Furthermore, bulk sales will lower the return to taxpayers already on the hook for billions in losses at Fannie/Freddie and FHA.
●  Increasing the number of rentals in a neighborhood often results in lower average prices for existing owners and less neighborhood stability.   
●  Discounting foreclosures in … (35 comments)

housing market: Let’s Buy a House Has Become: “Let’s Make a Deal” - 07/29/11 03:54 AM
Homes, like everything else in life, are an ever-changing commodity. Little more than a century ago most had no central heat, no electricity, no plumbing—none of the things we consider necessities today.  And only a few decades ago homes were dramatically smaller with an emphasis on function rather than form. 
In the last few years, however, homes exploded in both size and features.  Everyone wanted their own separate bath, media centers and the latest technology.  Kitchens became enclaves for both cooking and entertainment with appliances that rivaled those in the finest restaurants.  Easy credit helped to fund our desires … (8 comments)

housing market: What if the Housing Market Has Already Recovered? - 07/21/11 09:59 AM
What if the housing market has already recovered?  What if today’s sluggish market is the rate at which homes will be sold for ten years or longer?  Could it be that the sales levels of the past decade were just an anomaly fueled by loose lending restrictions and the attraction to phantom “investment” opportunities?  The bursting of the housing bubble was inevitable, and an attempt to stimulate a return to the sales levels of 2005-2006 would be to inflate yet another.  Today’s home sales are much closer to  “normal” than those of 2005-2006; and it’s time for sellers, Realtors® and builders … (76 comments)

housing market: Sluggish Housing Starts Show Depth of Crisis - 07/19/11 03:46 AM
Sluggish Housing Starts Show Depth of Crisis
Housing starts rose 14.6 percent in June to the highest level since January, coming in at an annualized rate of 629,000.  And while any improvement is better than none, the reality of the numbers demonstrates just how far new home construction has fallen since its peak in 2006. 
A quick look at the graph from Calculated Risk shows why housing has failed to provide the typical boost in employment following a recession.  In the two years following the official end of this recession, new home construction has been virtually … (8 comments)

housing market: What’s the Significance of Predicting a Housing Bottom? - 07/08/11 08:14 AM
With almost 25 million unemployed or underemployed and with consumer confidence feeble at best, what’s the significance of predicting a housing bottom?  Will it mean that home prices have stabilized and that the housing crisis and recession are over?  Does calling a bottom mean those who have been “fence-sitting” will be rushing out to write purchase agreements?  We have to look no further than recent sales activity to see that consumers won’t be enticed into purchasing by pronouncements. 
But some financial “experts” have recently stated that housing has finally reached its bottom, that the price declines we’ve seen during … (35 comments)

housing market: Consumers Still See Home Ownership as Essential to the American Dream - 06/10/11 05:13 AM
A recent survey reported on RISMedia shows that consumers still see home ownership as essential to the American Dream.  According to the survey, Americans see beyond the housing crisis to the “enduring value of homeownership.”   I agree and have written several posts that support the findings. 
Homeownership is about much more than the costs or investment potential of real estate.  And while we have recently seen a decline in the rate of homeownership, almost three-quarters of those surveyed who do not presently own, indicated a goal of one day owning a home.
Because of the financial crisis … (28 comments)

housing market: Will the Housing Market Ever Return? - 06/02/11 02:03 AM
John Boehner was recently quoted as being “skeptical” that there is “anything government can do” to bring about a recovery in housing; but will the housing market ever return?  The media love such comments as Speaker Boehner’s, and readily plaster them across TV screens and front pages; however, the answer is much more complicated than can be described in headlines.  In an effort to simplify complicated subjects and to appeal to the largest audience, news reports often paint a somewhat distorted picture of what’s actually occurring.  Here are some hard facts about housing:
The downward spiral of home prices. … (9 comments)

housing market: Coping with the Structural Changes in Housing - 05/18/11 10:04 AM
Coping with the Structural Changes in Housing
I recently received an email from a Twitter follower accusing me of “yellow journalism,” the practice of presenting biased, exaggerated or distorted stories as objective fact with little or no effort to substantiate the claims being made.  The email even included a definition of “yellow journalism” from Wikipedia.
The writer was complaining about my constant posting of negative news regarding the housing market and implying that my posts as well as negative stories in the media were responsible for consumer perceptions of the housing market; and to a degree, that part is … (12 comments)

housing market: It’s Official: Housing has Entered a Double-Dip - 05/05/11 02:24 AM
It’s Official: Housing has Entered a Double-Dip
An article on World Property Channel reports that Clear Capital’s Monthly Home Data Index shows a national decline in home prices 0.7 percent below the previous lows of March 2009.  The new numbers now make it official; housing is in a double-dip.
With an overhang of foreclosures and other distress sales, prices of both new homes and resales continue to be pressured downward; and with a lack of government stimulus, demand remains low.
The Housing Guru: The expert source for all your housing questions—now featuring daily updates of Today’s Housing … (14 comments)

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John Mulkey

Housing Guru

Waleska, GA

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